France Coronavirus Deaths Rise at Fastest Pace in Five Days

(Bloomberg) -- France reported the most deaths linked to the coronavirus in five days on Monday, while hospitalizations and the number of patients in intensive care continued to decline.

The number of fatalities rose by 263 to 26,643, France’s Health Ministry said in an e-mailed statement. People hospitalized because of the virus fell by 285 to 22,284.

France started easing lockdown measures on Monday that have helped slow the coronavirus outbreak, with stores including some department stores and garden centers reopening after almost eight weeks. Health authorities said the epidemic is still active and efforts to slow down the virus must be continued.

“Today, a new gradual and prudent phase of resumption of activity begins in the country,” the ministry said. “We must remain mobilized and united to curb circulation of the virus.”

Patients in intensive care because of the virus, which health officials have cited as a key indicator, fell by 64 to 2,712, the lowest since March 24.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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